Friday, 25 December 2015

To Hire or not to Hire a Moving Company: That’s the Question!

A lot of people are plagued by this question when they are about to move. And just like most other questions, the answer divides people into two equally strong camps; the opinions stem from factors such as money, time, complexity and difficulty of the move. If you happen to move across a city, a self-move is definitely sensible. But moving across the country is an entirely different proposition. To make sure you take the right decision, here are listed for you a few things you need to consider carefully.

How much stuff do you have to move?

If you have a lot of stuff, you will have to rent a truck. To get a general idea of the right size of a truck you need to move your things, make use of the following truck-size guide that most truck rental agencies offer.

  • 4+ bedrooms: 26'
  • 3-4 bedrooms: 24'
  • 2-3 bedrooms: 17'
  • 1-2 bedrooms: 14'
  • Apartment: 10'

How far do you have to move?

When planning to make a move, it is important to calculate the total distance in order to make sure you have the right estimate of truck rental and gas costs. Online distance calculators can offer correct estimates of the distance, while fuel calculators can provide an idea of how much you will have to pay for the gas. It is important to consider both the costs before deciding on a rental.

How much time do you have?

If you intend to move on your own instead of hiring a professional mover, here are a few questions you must ask yourself:

1. Do you have enough time to pack your belongings, load them and drive the truck to the destination?

2. Are there people – family, friends, colleagues or neighbors – who are willing to help you – who can lend a hand in packing, loading and moving?

3. Does your stuff contain special or fragile items which require careful and special handling? Is it possible to move such items yourself?

4. Is it possible to rent extra supplies/equipment or hire hands to move bigger items?

5. Are you sure that you can move your belongings safely?

6. Have you added hidden costs that come up during the move such as packing supplies?
If time is important to you, then there are many other options that you can weigh: from hiring some hands to pack and load to unload and unpack, or hiring hands just to load and ship your household.

Hiring a mover

Once you've found clear answers to all the questions listed above, you can act accordingly. Call up at least three moving companies – should you decide to hire a mover - and ask them for a sample quote on the phone. Many of these service providers may insist on visiting your house for an estimate. In case you’re not comfortable with it, request them for a ball park figure.

After a thorough research and analysis, you can finally decide which course you wish to take – whether you intend to make the move on your own or hire an expert to help do it for you. Whatever be the course, make sure you take your decision after weighing all the pros and cons.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Eco-Friendly Household Moving: Four Useful Ideas for You

There is usually a huge impact on your ecological footprint with every household move you make – all that tape, boxes and packing paper that go into moving consume a lot of natural resources when manufactured. Ultimately they end up in the trash. A little planning and preparation is enough to make your household moves green with zero waste. Moreover, if done right, it can give you the satisfaction of having done little harm to your environment! You can save a lot of money in the bargain.

Use earth-friendly packing material

Packing materials can have a huge impact on the environment. Here are some solutions that can help you make a green move, as far as the packing materials are concerned.

  1. Reusable containers: borrow plastic containers from your family and friends. Also, you can purchase plastic containers that can be stored and stacked easily: they're always handy when the moving-bug begins to bite. This is a good solution for you if you are a frequent mover; it will not only save trees, but also your time and money.
  2. Recyclable materials: one of the best ways to save money and your harmful impact on earth is to accumulate used boxes from wine and liquor stores, grocery stores, and other retailers. Most wine/liquor boxes have cell packs installed which help packing bottles, glasses, and other fragile items really easy and simple. Moreover, most of these containers are reinforced to endure heavier loads.
  3. Online sources:  the internet can be a great source for used packing materials. There are several networking sites to shop for used boxes. In case you don’t find a listing for your area, post a request and someone will get back to you with an offer.
Buy carbon offsets

In case you’re hiring a moving company, figure out if the rental or moving company is carbon-neutral. A lot of rental agencies and movers do not offer such services. Irrespective of whether the provider is green or not, you can help in lowering the impact of the move, especially the gas emissions, as much as possible, by buying carbon offsets.

Donate and sell your stuff

Before throwing an unwanted item into the trash, you can think about donating the stuff to a local charity or a neighbor who may find it valuable. Make sure what you're donating is actually useful. Most non-profit societies and thrift stores cannot use ripped clothing or worn-out items which no one really wants.

Recycle your unwanted electronics

You may no longer need your microwave, but do not just throw it in the trash. Learn about ways to recycle electronics.  Search for an authorized e-waste recycler to make sure your old microwaves, computers, and other items are recycled under strict environmental laws.

If you're planning on moving and want to make your move green, the best course of action is to do the best you can. Not everyone has the resources to make a carbon-neutral move. However, an awareness of the impact is a good starting point in contributing towards a better planet.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

How Decluttering Your House can Help You Pack Better

When you’re planning to sell your house, one of the biggest challenges of staging is de-cluttering. Many a time, people have too much stuff to pack. Rather than throwing everything in boxes haphazardly, why not combine the process of decluttering with getting on with packing by doing it in an orderly way? Since there will be no rush, you will do a better job. You will also have the time to create a packing and labeling system that will make the process of unpacking easier.

What you should pack

  1. Things that you plan on selling or donating
  2. Out of season clothes
  3. Things you use only during certain times of the year
  4. Things that you make use of rarely
  5. Personal stuff such as family pictures
  6. Things that are breakable or valuable, such as expensive jewelry
  7. Extra sets of sheets, plates and utensils
In addition, box up items you are not planning to take with you:

  1. Items you wish to sell
  2. Items you wish to donate
  3. Things you plan on throwing away
  4. Items you do not need, like, or use and intend to get rid of
  5. Things that are damaged or broken and need repairing
Packing ideas and methods 

  1. Label all boxes by number and assign a number to each room. For instance, #1 boxes go into the master bedroom, #2 boxes go to the living room, and so on.
  2. Label all boxes by writing down the name of the room on the box. You can also use a different color for every room, so you can write Living Room in orange on each box that belongs to the living room. You can also use colored stickers rather than markers. You can even combine room names with the number system described above.
  3. Make a master list. You can consult the master list if you need something after you move, or when you still have your items packed in the storage of your new house. For instance, let's say you throw a party and need that second set of dishes; you can just look at your master list and know which box to open.
These are only a few ideas. Make sure you do what works for you the best. Choose and pick and coordinate what is convenient to you. However, make sure of one thing: keep it consistent. Also, if you have kids, make packing a fun. In fact, you can make it a sort of a contest, and you may even offer rewards. Permit your little ones to have their friends come over to help out. Let them have the money from items they decide not to take with them, and encourage them to donate to charity or sell at a garage sale.

Another way to make decluttering and packing easier is to hire professional movers and packers. They are highly proficient in packing and moving your stuff carefully without any damage.

Friday, 25 September 2015

How You can Get Rid of Unwanted Stuff before shifting: Top 5 Ideas

The advantage of moving is that it compels you to clean the house, discarding items that no longer serve you. Moreover, it is a lot easier and cheaper if there is less amount of stuff to pack and less to load onto the moving truck. So, if you are finding it difficult to decide on what to throw away, here are a few suggestions that will help you get rid of the things you do not need anymore.

Decide on the things you want to keep and the ones you want to let go

Before moving, make sure you sort out your things so that you don't end up loading stuff you don't need. Take out time, check every single room, write down the things that are important and the ones you don't really need. You can start by opening mysterious boxes that are piled high up on the closet.

To decide if something should be tossed out or kept, ask yourself how frequently you have worn or used the item in the past year? As for clothes, you should think twice before you decide to keep. If you wish to keep an item "just in case", then it’s best to discard it; you will never use it.

Sell your stuff through online auction sites

Selling stuff online is the easiest way to save and make some extra money while getting rid of things you don’t need. There are hundreds of reliable websites where you can post your goods and seek buyers. All you have to do is create an account, punch down the expected price and upload some good pictures.

Almost everything from appliances to clothes to kid’s toys can be sold with only a click of a button - it's that simple!

Donate 

If you've tried every way to sell your stuff but had no luck with the buyers, then you can think of donating it to a non-profit. There are so many underprivileged people who need things like books, clothes and computers.  Giving away things for a noble cause is always a good idea.

Organize a garage sale

Garage sales can be a great way to force yourself to go through your things and discard some stuff - to make your move light - and make some cash that can be used to rent a moving truck.

People are always looking for odd items to add to their collection. Some items that are popular in garage sales include:

  1. Baby clothing and items
  2. Records, CDs, and tapes
  3. Kitchen appliances
  4. Household items
  5. Toys
  6. Craft supplies
  7. Magazines/ Books
  8. Tools
  9. Linens
  10. Sporting equipment
Recycle what can’t be donated or sold

Moving does not just involve a lot of packing, but it also adds a lot of waste. When making your move, you have to make sure you take the time and effort to dispose of items properly, and try to choose packaging items that can be easily recycled. Most neighborhoods and cities have recycling systems, whether it's recycling depots or curbside pick-up.

By adhering to these tips, you can rest assured that your move will be light and easy on the pocket, especially with all the extra money you will make through garage sales and online auction sites.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Packing supplies checklist for a smooth move

When relocating or moving, one of the most important things in our mind is to make sure our household goods reach the new destination in tact and scratch free. The best way to ensure a smooth packing is to start by creating a good packing list and buying the right packing and moving supplies. Here are some essentials that will make it easier for you.

Moving boxes

The first things to add to your list are moving boxes. To save money, boxes can be bought from a grocery store or wine/ liquor store. For exact sizes, you can shop for boxes online or in stores such as home depot. Here are a few sizes that come in handy for a 5-6 room house:

  1. 15-20 small boxes
  2. 10 medium sized boxes
  3. 10 large boxes
  4. 5 extra-large moving boxes
  5. 6 wardrobe boxes
  6. 5 heavy duty boxes
  7. 2 electronics boxes
Specialty boxes

Normally the above-mentioned list will suffice. However, for specialty items such as framed artwork, large mirrors, printers and computers, you may have to buy other supplies.

Mirror and artwork boxes are shaped to fit and come with frame protectors. Frame protectors are used to secure the corners of the fragile items to prevent them from damage during the transit. Corrugated cardboard can help protect glass surfaces and can separate the items while in transit.

Accessories:

The more organized you are, the easier and faster the move. If you buy items such as a box cutter, scissors, pre-printed labels, markers and packing peanuts, you will be able to pack more quickly. Another item that is highly recommended when it comes to packing is a tape dispenser. Tape dispensers help in saving time and frustration!

Packing Wrap, Cushioning, Protection

  1. Plain newsprint and brown paper: wrap items in brown paper or plain newsprint to keep them from getting dirty. However, do not use newsprint to wrap sensitive surfaces, such as lampshades.
  2. Foam: foam for extra protection
  3. Stretch wrap: This extremely stretchable film comes in very handy to protect surfaces and to keep together things such as ski poles.
  4. Inflatable bags: These can be used to fill up empty spaces.
  5. Box cutter: sharp blade to open up tough materials
  6. Mattress covers: to protect mattresses from rips and punctures
  7. Markers: range in price and utilities, including markers that can write on tough surfaces such as plastic and glass
Labels:

Following labels can come in very handy when packing and marking the boxes.

  1. Custom printed labels such as, 'Kitchen', 'Fragile' or 'This End Up'
  2. Pre-printed labels to fulfill common needs
  3. Blank labels: different sizes printed on a single sheet from your computer
Your time is precious and paying a little attention towards collecting the right packing supplies will offer you much needed peace. If you find this difficult, then offloading this work to professional packers can take away in full the pressure and stress, and save all your time.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Hiring the Best Movers: 5 Serious Problems You Must Foresee and Avoid

When it’s time to make a big move, and you have stuff you can’t take along, it is really crucial to obtain a proper self-storage unit to pack in the extra items. There may be many choices of storage facilities in your city. However the actual choice can be a pretty daunting and overpowering task. Depending on the items you intend to store, here are   five big mistakes you must avoid to ensure the safety of your goods.

1. Hiring someone on phone or through the internet without actually looking at the storage unit in person

Make sure you visit the storage facility and check out the quality of the units being offered. Some providers will show you a clean unit but rent you a bug-infested, dirty basement one. Therefore, be firm if you need to and ask them to show you a unit other than the one the company has kept as a sample.

2. Not doing your research before hiring a storage facility

It is important to check the reviews and look up the facility on Yelp and Google Places. You obviously can’t believe everything that’s said about a company, but if the majority of the reviews are bad then you may want to stay away. Online reviews may also offer you some insight into the things you may want to look for when visiting a storage facility.

3, Not visiting at least three storage facilities before signing up

Do not sign up with the first storage facility you come across. Visit several units in different parts of the city before you call back and sign up. Read through the entire contract and make your lawyer go through it as well. Once you have visited multiple places and have reviewed all the documents, take out time to consider which company is most convenient for you, and then sign the contract.

4. Not taking security into consideration

Security is a very crucial and realistic feature that you must take into consideration when hiring a storage facility. Tight security offers a sense of assurance that all your belongings will be safe. When you visit a facility, make sure you are offered features such as security alarms, video monitoring, on site staff, motion sensors and private entrances. These attributes help to secure your precious items, while giving you exclusive access to your unit by providing you personalized swipe cards for your self-storage unit.

5. Hiring the cheapest storage provider

It may be a big mistake to choose a storage facility based mainly on the price. Many companies offer competitive rates, however it's important that you also take the services into consideration. Is the facility clean? Do they offer temperature-controlled units? Is there enough security to keep your goods safe? Remember, if you want to keep your belongings safe, price should never be the deciding factor.

Picking the right storage facility can be an extremely overwhelming process. Therefore, it is important to be wary of these common mistakes and avoid them when scouting for storage facilities.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Moving to a New Place: Best Ways for You to Pack

If packing for a one-week vacation can be an ordeal, one can imagine what a terrible  ordeal it would be to pack to move from one residence to another. Not a lot of people enjoy the experience! But, if you are pro-active and well organized, things won’t seem so bad. Here are a few tips that will help make packing to move fun and easy!


Gather the required packing supplies

The first thing on your agenda should be to collect the required moving boxes and packing supplies. Make sure you buy different sizes of good quality boxes and other materials.

Write down a checklist of things you will need 

  • Bubble wraps
  • Padding supplies
  • Wrapping sheets
  • Scissors
  • Packaging tape
  • Newspapers
  • Marking pens
  • Labeling stickers

Use old clothes for padding

Instead of spending hard-earned money on endless bubble wrap or packing or foam peanuts in bulk, use your clothes for padding. Not only will it save you a lot of money, but also since you have to pack your clothes anyway, this technique kills two birds with one stone.

As for delicate items such as glassware, wrap each glass in a sock. This way, even if they clink, they'll be just fine.

Create a packing station at your house

Create a wide-open space to keep your packing materials, boxes, tape, pens and labels. Drag and drop your stuff here is ‘start the packing process’. When you’re packing and sealing boxes, put a unique number on each one of the containers, in addition to the contents and room label. By doing this, you’ll know just how many containers you have and if one of them is missing.

Pack a box for each family member

These boxes will come in very handy once you’ve moved to your new residence. Put in a toothbrush, a small bar of soap, toothpaste, towel, some "relaxing" clothes, and anything else you think each member will need while all their other stuff is in other boxes. Make sure you keep these suitcases or boxes in a safe place where they will not be jumbled with everything else. Carry them with you in your car or whichever way you are traveling.

Use the right technique to pack the boxes

Make sure you wrap every item properly with sufficient layers of bubble wrap, wrapping sheets, or clothes. Place the items with extreme care to avoid damages. Place lighter items on top, and heavier items in the bottom. 

  • Pack items such as toys, books, etc. in smaller boxes. However, do not over pack the boxes to avoid breakage.
  • Pack breakable or fragile items with extra attention and care. If needed, use more wrapping layers or bubble wraps to cover such items.
  • Use crushed papers or wadded newspapers to fill out empty spaces of cartons or boxes.

If you have any last minute items left, place them together in one room. In addition, when the truck is good to go and the movers tell you that they have loaded everything, check every room for the last time. Make sure nothing is left behind. Once you are sure you have loaded everything, it is time to close the door and leave for your new house!